Ireland’s first road freight strategy is making progress but still more needs to be done – FTAI

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The implementation of Ireland’s first freight strategy has started positively, according to the Freight Transport Association Ireland (FTAI), which represents the interests of logistics businesses across the country. But in order for the plan to be totally effective, more assistance will be needed from government to ensure a successful transition to a greener industry.

“A freight strategy for Ireland was long overdue,” explains FTA Ireland’s CEO Aidan Flynn, “and work has started positively to implement its recommendations to help the nation’s logistics businesses operate as efficiently as possible. The ambitions for the strategy are far reaching and it is encouraging to see the progress made between industry and stakeholders on areas as diverse as road safety and enforcement, skills and sustainability and decarbonisation.

“However, as we move towards a greener economy, and shift to the use of alternatively fuelled vehicles, there is still much work to be done and neither industry or government should rest on their laurels.  35% of actions recommended by the strategy relate directly to the establishment of a sustainable industry that can decarbonise effectively. To this end, we are recommending that government continues to work closely with our members to create a national strategy on these issues that takes into account the unique status of Ireland within the EU.

“Ireland has its own particular infrastructure challenges,” he continues, “and it is vital that any solutions to meet the 2030 decarbonisation targets set by government react to the needs of our industry and do not hinder our members’ ability to continue delivering for Ireland’s businesses and consumers. It is imperative that the Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan, whose remit includes climate action, continues to engage with our industry to keep the particular challenges we face in mind – including the need for suitable vehicles, refuelling options and staffing – to ensure that our sector can decarbonise effectively.

“Logistics businesses are keen to maintain dialogue with government throughout the process, as well as highlight the opportunities which our industry currently offers and will provide in the new, greener, economy.  The second Logistics Supply Chain Skills week takes place from 26 February 2024 and is an example of how this strategy can deliver positively not just for government but also for industry. We look forward to engaging with the minister and his colleagues to ensure that as many people as possible are aware of the opportunities that our industry can offer as we drive the transition to net zero forwards.

The government’s progress report on its road haulage strategy can be found here https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/92c69-ministers-publish-progress-report-of-irelands-first-ever-road-haulage-strategy/